Friday, January 1, 2010

"Yearly Update"

So now that I have sent out my Christmas Cards. I thought for those REALLY interested in hearing about our jam packed year can read on...

At this time last year we were snowed in for 2-3 weeks. It was chillaxiful. Everything was canceled and we had fun playing with friends that lived close, neighbors, and even had fun just hanging out at home with each other. Jeff would take us four-wheeling in the jeep around the neighborhood. We spent some of our down time preparing for Blake's Eagle Court of Honor. He had earned it the year before but was waiting for his BBF, Mitch to finish his project, and get a time for all of us to get together. We had fun celebrating their accomplishments.
At the beginning of the year, Jeff and I took advantage of our "adult" and left the kids and spent a weekend in UT for "The Brother's Ski Trip". Wives were invited along this year. We enjoyed the great ski conditions and the great company. We also had a wonderful hostess! Thanks Amanda!!

Last winter Blake and Cason were both involved in wrestling once more. Blake worked really hard and made it to state, wrestling the National Champion during his first round. His team took districts which hadn't happened since the 70's. It was an exciting night! Cason wrestled hard as well but was kept from competing at state because of a medical issue.

While the boys were on the mat, the girls were on the court. Samantha played on the freshman team and improved a lot. Carissa played on a great 4th grade team. She is improving as well every year.
The moment State wrestling was over for Blake I scheduled his wisdom teeth to be pulled. Not such a great idea, to have him miss so many days right before finals, but we had a small window of opportunity because, after winter sports were over Blake decided to take up Lacrosse for the first time. He promised Mitch, if Mitch went out for wrestling, he would go out for Lacrosse. He really enjoyed the sport and had fun. He was pretty decent for not knowing what he was doing. Jeff and I enjoyed learning about the game and watching Blake have so much fun.

Since Samantha had done so well in cross country the previous fall she thought she would go out for track. She excelled in the long distances and really pushed herself. We cheered her on at many meets and loved watching her confidence grow.
The end of the school approached quickly. Blake survived his senioritice and graduated from Aloha High School. He was accepted to BYU and BYUI. Around the same time, he submitted papers to go on an LDS mission. After the first week of summer, while Samantha and I were at girls camp, Blake got his call in the mail. He waited until we came home and invited friends and family to be there while he opened it. He was called to the Moscow Russia Mission. Wow. We were all floored. The next few days were filled with preparation. He wasn't to report to the MTC until Oct 7th, but we were going to be gone all summer on sabbatical. We didn't waste time, and bought all the his missionary supplies and submitted his paperwork for his visa.
Then off we were on sabbatical. Our first three weeks was a National Park Tour that included a tour of all the major and some minor National Parks in the west. We saw so many diverse and beautiful places. It will be a summer never forgotten. We also squeezed in a family Reunion with the Carter side of the family in Park City. We made some great memories of tennis matches, skits, and pool parties.
I have to mention that at the beginning of the summer Samantha had made a goal to be in the 300 mile club for cross country. She ran almost everyday. She did a million loops around some of the campgrounds we stayed in. She was the epitome of dedication. I really was proud of her.

Anyway, after seeing Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon, Half Dome (which Blake and Jeff hiked up) we finally made it home. The kids happy to see friends and play for a couple of days before we went on our annual white water rafting trip. We enjoyed a float down the Lower Salmon in ID. This year we took Mitch with us and had a great time relaxing with our friends. We all made it though, though Blake fell out of the raft once trying to get a little more bounce out of the rapid, more funny than life threatening. We zipped home from that trip to trade our raft for our, new to us, half motor boat. Some dear friends of ours needed a new boat partner and we jumped on the offer. We took the boat up to the Sawtooth Mountains in ID to Alturus Lake for the Wight Family Reunion. Yep, we stayed in the the same cabins I had girls camp at when I was a youth. It brought back so many memories of kangaroo court, and couches, and snipes. Everyone enjoyed doing something fun, from motorcycles, and fishing, to water skiing and truck repairs, (sorry Grandpa, maybe that wasn't so fun). Anyway, Blake said his last goodbyes to some of the family there, and again we headed home. This time we dropped off the kids and Jeff and I enjoyed a quiet few days up at Whidbey Island, (thanks LaFawn!) We went fishing, hiking, sight seeing, to movies, and ate out. It was wonderful. We came home to put on Samantha's 15th birthday party.

The next week Jeff was so excited for, he had prepared all year.... the "pack in" bow hunt with Blake. They left the truck at the beginning of the week and just took off with the stuff on their backs. Jeff loves the outdoors and was only disappointed that he didn't get Blake in a position to bring home the big one. He was really hoping to give Blake a fun story to talk about. They still LOVED it. Jeff had one last week before he was to go back to work. He enjoyed it fishing with friends and playing around. He bragged that he didn't wear a pair on pants all summer except for church. He hung out in his shorts everyday enjoying mother nature as best as he could.
The first week of school had started by then and we were all back into the routine of things, except Blake. He was still working for American Tire Co (which had been so awesome to schedule around wrestling, Lacross, and the sabbatical.) He was now counting down the days. We finished the last shots, and paperwork that had been asked for. He gave a great talk before he left and before I knew it we were in the airport giving our last hugs. Boy, that moment still tugs at my heart strings.
Not more than a week or so after Blake left, our dog of 15 years, Blaze, died. She was old and feeble, and it was a relief to have her go. Thunder still is around keeping me company. I think she is the one that Blake misses the most.
Samantha earned her 300 mile club teeshirt in cross country and excelled again. She ran her personal best at districts this year at 19:47. That is pretty dang fast for a 5K. Cason opted not to do football, but practice wrestling on the the off season. Carissa started something new this year and enrolled in Dance class. She put on a great Christmas performance and showed grace and beauty. She and Samantha also had their piano recitals this fall and both did a great job. Cason planning on finishing earning his eagle this next year, earned his life scout award this last year. He is constantly striving, setting goals, and finishing projects, when Jeff isn't distracting him with fishing and hunting. (Just kidding honey!) I couldn't skip over the fact that Cason shot his first deer this year!
We loved being with family at Thanksgiving and all crashing at my sister's place in Boise. My kids always look forward to it. The last few days this year have been spent sending Blake his last few packages to the MTC and preparing for Christmas. On the 21st of Dec Blake was able to call us from the SLC airport and let us know he was really flying out. We enjoyed asking him questions about his MTC experience and how he felt about going to Russia and even heard him speak the little Russian that he knew. We were lucky to be able to call him back again on Christmas and know that he was happy and excited about being in Russia and doing the Lords work. He continues to grow up, but I believe the next 2 years it will be accelerated a bit. What a wonderful experience, for all of us.
I look back on this year and say WHEWWW!!!
We did it. I knew it was going to be a non stop year and really tried to soak up the last moments of our little family being together. It just goes by so fast. I would have to say this year was STUPENDOUS. In more ways than one. I am so grateful for so many things, my healthy body, my loving family, Jeff's job, for the gospel that guides my path, for this beautiful earth, and the loving Father that created it all for us. My cup has overflowed this year and I am in awe of the bounty that is my life.


analee hirschi said...

what a year!!! Your family is really growing up... and shrinking. I am excited to see what this year brings for your family. wished I lived closer

Sarah said...

What a fun packed year!! thanks for sharing it all. It still doesn't seem possible that you have a missionary our. Time goes by too fast!

Melinda said...

STUPENDOUS is right!!!!! AMAZING!!! Love the make even an everyday moment look like a magazine. It's awesome.

Grace said...

that is a great year Rachael. Some really great family pics. I can't believe it's been nearly a year since the court of honor! wow

Darilyn said...

Thanks for sharing this. I loved reading every bit. It's inspiring me to do something similar on my blog.

MandaJ said...

That is a huge year! I loved reading through it. Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

What a YEAR!!! I'm amazed that any of you lived through it. We loved sharing some of those great times with you. Definitely this was a summer (or year) to remember. You've raised a great family and I love to see their accomplishments.
These children will be such a rich asset for God to use in the world. We're excited to see how He will put them to use.

Anonymous said...

My name is Barbara Rudd and I believe my son and your son are now missionary companions! Zac told me that his companion played football for BYU, so I was looking it up on the internet and found your blogs! They are great! Zac wrote today and said he is completely enjoying time with you son. They seem to get along great - and Zac is especially happy that your son is a wrestler -so is Zac! Just wanted drop a quick line and tell you thanks for such a good son. I bet they have lots of fun together. Our blogspot is I have pictures of Zac in front of St. Basil's cathedral on his first day in Russia. It was nice weather then - end of August. Your son got thrown into the woes of winter! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

I just re-read Zac's letter. He said Elder Morgan played football for BYU, and I believe Elder Morgan was Elder Wight's last companion. Anyway - got mixed up but I am glad I found you anyway!

paula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
paula said...

way to pack in as much as possible. Making memories is what it is all about!!

LaDawn said...

Nice to read about your family. My parents served in the mission office in Moscow. I'm sure Blake is enjoying and learning from his mission. My parents are now on their 3rd mission- in Ukraine getting things organized for the new temple's open houses.
You should let us know when you are in Utah and we could have a roommate reunion. Amber has completed her first year at BYU- brings back lots of memories. :)

Susan said...

OK Rachael...Blake has been on his mission over a YEAR. We are sick of these OLD pictures and need some new ones. I know you are just eating chocolates and watching update us!!!!